Planting Native Plants can Help Biodiversity

Priya Kommu, Editor

Native plants are incredibly important to preserving biodiversity in an ecological community. Biodiversity is the variety of different species in a habitat or community. Biodiversity is important because it can make an ecosystem more stable and makes the earth habitable.  Native plants are instrumental to preserving and maintaining biodiversity in communities. In ecosystems that are “crowded” with native plants invasive species and plants have trouble taking root and thriving. Crowded means that there is a large number of native plant species living in the community. Invasive and non-native plant species can be harmful for ecosystems and native species because they introduce competition and predation into the environment. The invasive species compete with the native plants, reducing their viability. To help increase the number of native plants in your community and in turn increase biodiversity, here are some plants you can add to your own garden: 

1. Butterfly Weed 

These plants are helpful to the monarch butterfly life cycle and can be white, yellow, green, purple, pink, orange, or red. 

2. Black-eyed Susan

These flowers can attract butterflies. 

3. Native Milkweed

There are several different types of native milkweed, those include: butterfly weed, swamp milkweed, common milkweed, purple milkweed, showy milkweed, aquatic milkweed, poke milkweed, spider milkweed, prairie milkweed, whorled milkweed, narrowleaf milkweed, and green milkweed. 

4. False Indigo

These small blue flowers can be used to treat ear, nose, and throat infections.  

5. Wild Bergamot

This flower is a member of the mint family and is edible. It is commonly used in teas that can help treat respiratory ailments. 

6. Purple Coneflower

These purple flowers can grow anywhere from 2 ½ to 3 ½ feet. 

7. Brown-Eyed Susan 

Also known as a Three-Lobed Coneflower, these flowers are excellent pollinators that provide food and honey for native honeybees.

8. Stout Blue-Eyed Grass

This color-changing plant attracts Halictid bees and Syrphid flies. 

9. Indian Blanket 

This plant is native to 35 out of the 50 states and blooms in the late spring and through the summer. 

10. Columbine

These purple flowers can be used as a herbal remedy for different ailments. 

Even planting one of these plants can help the environment and help to increase biodiversity.